New Earth Sciences series begins at MSU

New Earth Sciences series begins at MSU

A new geosciences and environmental sciences speaker series at Midwestern State University will cover topics from oil reservoir forecasting and seismic tomography on Earth to studying results sent from the Mars rover Curiosity. Dr. Scott Meddaugh, MSU's new Robert L. Bolin Distinguished Professor of Petroleum Geology, will be the first speaker for the Fall 2013 Geosciences and Environmental Science Colloquium Series at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, September 26, in Bolin Science Hall 312.

Meddaugh will speak about Optimism in Reservoir Production Forecasting - Impact of Geology, Heterogeneity, Geostatistics, Reservoir Modeling, and Uncertainty.

Meddaugh earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and his doctorate from Harvard University. He worked for Chevron for 32 years, holding positions such as senior research geologist, supervisor, consultant, and technical adviser.

Dr. John Grant will present results from the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity at 6:30 p.m. October 24, in Bolin Science Hall 100. Grant is the Mars Laboratory Participating Scientist for the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Grant joined the Smithsonian in the fall of 2000 as a geologist at the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum. He has been a member of the science team for the Mars exploration rovers since 2002 and is one of six Science Operations Working Group Chairs responsible for leading day-to-day science planning of the rovers, which have been operating for more than five years on Mars. Grant also co-chaired the science community process for selecting the landing sites for the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. He has been interested in Mars ever since reading Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles as a child.

Grant attended the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh and received his bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, in geology in 1982 and went on to earn a master's from the University of Rhode Island in 1986 and doctorate from Brown University in 1990, both in geology. His dissertation focused on the degradation of meteorite impact craters on Earth and Mars and he remains interested in understanding processes responsible for shaping planetary landscapes.

The third speaker, Dr. Heather DeShon, will speak about using seismic tomography to image subduction systems with applications to Costa Rica-Nicaragua and Sumatra at 5:30 p.m. November 7, in Bolin Science Hall 100.

DeShon is an Associate Professor of Geophysics at Southern Methodist University. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in the liberal arts from SMU in 1999, and received her Ph.D. in Earth Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 2004. Her research focuses on understanding earthquake initiation and rupture complexity within subduction systems. She uses high-resolution earthquake relocation and tomography to explore the spatial and temporal relationships between seismic source characteristics and structural variability along subduction megathrust faults. More broadly, her research is aimed at improving the characterization of subduction zone seismic and tsunami hazards. Her current work focuses on the Costa Rica-Nicaragua and Sumatra subduction margins.

Dr. Jesse Carlucci, Assistant Professor of Geosciences at MSU, said that the new series would feature three speakers in the fall and three in the spring. The series is sponsored by the College of Science and Mathematics at MSU. For more information, contact Carlucci at